(Book review) Nature of zapadnyy Kotlin


Nature of zapadnyy Kotlin / Eds. E. A. Volkova, G. A. Isachenko, V. N. Khramtsov. — St. Petersburg, 2021. 176 p., 35 Tables, 166 Ill.+ 3 Insert.

The book acquaints the reader with the nature of the western part of the Kotlin Island where the state nature reserve “Zapadnyy Kotlin” (Western Kotlin) is located. The nature of the western part of the Kotlin Island and its historical objects — the Forts Shanetz and Reef became more famous only at the end of the XX century, after the cancellation of restrictions on visiting the island and especially after the construction of a highway on the Flood Prevention Facility Complex of St. Petersburg.

The history of the island can be traced back to the XIV century, when it was at the border between the possessions of Velikiy Novgorod and Sweden. The location of the island at the entrance to the Neva Bay determined its “military” fate. The construction of fortresses and Forts led to the complete depletion of the island’s poor forest resources.

At present black alder, willow and aspen forests, shrubby thickets, mires and psammophytic vegetation are common on the island. Shallow waters along the northern coast of the island are covered with extensive thickets of reed, bulrush and other aquatic plants, and is a biotope of numerous waterfowl and near-water birds.

The book is based on the results of research of the nature of the western part of the island and adjacent water area of the Gulf of Finland, carried out in 2007–2021 by the scientists of the institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences and St. Petersburg State University. Detailed history of the development of the territory, descriptions of landscapes, vegetation and flora of vascular plants, mosses, lichens and fauna of vertebrates inhabiting the reserve are presented in the monograph. The book is illustrated by original color photos, historical maps of XVI–XX century, large-scale maps of landscapes, vegetation, actual processes in natural complexes. It is published in a series of monographs devoted to protected areas of St. Petersburg.

Section: Critics and bibliography